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CDC Links Injection Practices to Hospitalizations

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2012

In an editorial note, the authors of the MMWR listed four procedures in use of single-dose vials in clinical settings:

  1. Withdraw contents into a new sterile syringe in an aseptic manner
  2. Promptly use the contents for a single patient during a single procedure
  3. Dispose of the vial and any remaining contents
  4. While the safest option is to dedicate a single dose vial to one patient, when appropriately sized single dose vials are unavailable, repackaging may occur but only by qualified personnel, and only with the use of a laminar-flow hood and strict adherence to U.S. Pharmacopeia 797 standards.


"These outbreaks could be avoided if smaller medication vial sizes that better fit procedural needs were manufactured," the authors wrote.

Concern about infection control and safety in ambulatory care settings prompted the CDC to launch its One and Only and Safe Injection Practices campaigns.

Herrera says that the incidents in Delaware and Arizona should reinforce to healthcare providers in all settings that "these outbreaks happen on a fairly routine basis, so I think we will continue to push this message directly to clinicians as much as we can. We will be trying our best to make all clinicians aware...and specifically as in this case, the importance of just using single dose vials once."


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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